tv Headline News RT August 21, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT
coming up on our t.v. army whistleblower bradley manning was sentenced to thirty five years in prison the judge handed down the sentence of the man who leaked government data to wiki leaks an update on the case ahead from port meade and a series of new revelation show two sides of the n.s.a. on one hand the n.s.a. doesn't know what edward snowden fully has on its surveillance on the other it's reported that seventy five percent of u.s. internet traffic is being monitored more on these developments coming up and egypt remains in a state of chaos after the government crackdown on morsy supporters of the former egyptian leader hosni mubarak may soon be released from custody more on the crisis later in the show.
it's wednesday august twenty first five pm in washington d.c. i'm sam sax and you're watching our t.v. then we begin with a prison sentence of thirty five years that's what a military judge handed down to bradley manning this morning as punishment for releasing hundreds of thousands of state department cables war logs and other government documents including what's now known as the collateral murder video last month many was found guilty of twenty of twenty two charges including espionage charges he was facing a maximum of ninety years in prison the government asked for many to serve at least sixty years meanwhile his defense pushed for a sentence that would still allow manning to enjoy a life in the end judge colonel denise lynn settled on thirty five years a dishonorable discharge from the army and loss of pay benefits manning sentence was reduced by one thousand one hundred eighty two days for the time he was in
prison before the trial and another one hundred twelve days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in two thousand and ten many's attorney david coombs said this in reaction to the sentencing. while we were successful in avoiding the aiding the enemy offense. the fact that the government pursued this offense the fact that the government. let this offense go forward even after it was clear there was no evidence of any intent to do so should sound an alarm to every journalist it should sound an alarm to every concerned citizen now artie's liz wall was in the fort meade court room earlier today and i first asked her about the court rooms reaction when the verdict was read. i was sitting in the courtroom when the judge delivered the verdict today and when the judge announced that sentence of thirty five years out of what i heard from my perspective i heard us some gaffes and
despite repeated warnings from the judge and and military officers for members and spectators to not make any comment to not shout anything out they made their ruling very clear that there could be punishment we heard members that spectators. say things like bradley you are our hero thank you thank you bradley so it was a packed courtroom plenty of his supporters there that made their their support for manning earlier in the courtroom after that sentence was delivered pam was you've been covering this from the get go order when you measure of the sentence itself i mean the governor was asking for something like sixty years could a face of nineteen years he ends up getting thirty five years. was a sentence i mean i think it depends on who you ask and whether or not it was really you know whether or not it was too strict as you said it was possible it was
possible he faced ninety years the prosecution in the sentencing arguments asked for sixty the defense didn't ask for any particular number of years but they kind of hinted that by the time a lot of the information becomes declassified that bradley manning leaked that you should not still be abroad and a jail cell also the charges that he pleaded guilty to amounted to twenty years alone just for those charges so so some people say that this could be kind of a happy medium. so to speak i will say though that during the press conference today that combs just spoke at bradley manning's attorney david whom he was asked is this a fair trial did bradley manning have a fair trial and welcome said he said. he said it to comment on whether or not it was perceived or it can be perceived as a fair trial he said no and he said that it's because the lack of transparency throughout this trial there hasn't been any cameras allowed inside he said if you
could have cameras in that court room a lot of what happened would not have happened according to him today just moments ago lou so what happens next we've had the trial in a guilty verdict now the sentencing is there anything else. well coom today here when he came out and address the spectators and something making made clear before the sentence and now after the sentence at this press conference is that this is not the end they face the at his supporters see it as another chapter actually another kind of beginning there's going to be a whole nother post trial process he said that next week he is going to file or a request is in this next week next week by a lever a pledge that president obama pardon bradley manning or at least commute his sentence to time served as we know he served over three years and been a in confinement for over three years just in this. throughout the trial and
pretrial and when there's a whole process there is in this case is going to go to the army court of appeals and it's possible that it could go now all the way to the supreme court. argy correspondent liz wahl thank you. now for more on what the sentence means for bradley manning and other whistleblowers moving forward i was joined earlier by just one radek the national security and human rights director of the government accountability project in colonel morris davis a professor of law at howard university and the former chief prosecutor at guantanamo bet now we started by asking colonel davis what exactly this thirty five year sentence means for manning. well you know a lot of folks really panicked when they heard that number today in the military has a very elaborate process for how they calculate confinement so that thirty five year number likely results in private manning serving about another eight to nine years
of confinement because he will get the credit for time served you get called good time credit it's a third off ten days per month off your senates and then he's eligible for parole in or around the one third one so he's probably looking at about eight or nine more years to be a total of about eleven or twelve year sentence for what he did just and this was really the critical phase of the trial i mean many had accepted guilt for some of these charges the only question was how long would he be sentenced prison for and whether or not already serving three years of being tortured was enough punishment as is liz well he just we just heard from interviewed some people at the coroner here's a clip you're talking to dr cornel west and here's what he had to say. well i just think it's a sad day in the country when a fellow citizen why did one of the bradley manning reveals lies and crimes of the u.s. government he's the one who's criminalize and for me one day is too much so one day being too much do you share that sentiment or is there something to be said about
kind of facing some of the consequences for this and has already i guess is that i think he already has i mean if i had my druthers i would limit it to time served which of course included nine months in solitary which even the judge found to be torture or unlawful pretrial confinement. but realistically given that the government was seeking ninety and then sixty and defense was around twenty five thirty five seems like a good a good outcome though obviously it's a very steep compared to any other whistleblower on espionage charges in a cruise from thirty five down to possibly eight as you said colonel davis but even just saying thirty five years or even eight years implies that manning is still somewhat of a dangerous individual which can't really be the case i mean the guy leave secrets it's not like. he's going to be given security clearance over the next few years
and be able to to do this again so isn't this really about sending a message this verdict not so much really dealing with a crime but is making sure people in the future don't don't know what you know the government had the opportunity when private manning pled guilty to improperly disclosing classified information and he stood up and took accountability for what he did wrong which subjected him to a twenty year sentence and the government rather than just accepting his guilty plea and what would have been an appropriate punishment insisted on going forward with the aiding the enemy charge similar to treason and the government lost on that and all they've done is bought five years of appeals from here on out and i think private manning has some really good grounds for appeal but it again is to send a message to the next person sitting out there and i haven't heard anyone of the millet. saying gee i wish i was private manning i think folks that have seen what he's been through don't want to be the next private manning and they're going to think twice about revealing classified information if you've got messages been heard you know i know the prosecution was a very unabashed about the fact that they were seeking sixty years in order to send
a message to me that it's all about politics and has nothing to do with justice in terms of whether a spent hurt at least in my office where we represent whistleblowers and has not stemmed the flow of people coming forward and i think edward snowden is a good example of someone who found the manning case and all of these espionage act prosecutions to be instructive in terms of how the u.s. would engage in overkill and try to seek blood from a turnip in a way that it could so i don't think it will be a deterrent of other whistleblowers jumping off from from mr snowden does this kind of confirm a lot of his suspicions about facing facing trial in the united states here and basically how difficult it is nowadays to mount a whistle blowing defense case really whistleblowing is not a defense in a criminal case it's not it doesn't provide an affirmative defense and all of the courts that i've heard these espionage charges against whistleblowers first of all
none of them have been sustained in that great case they were all dismissed kiriakou all the espionage charges failed manning is the only case where it succeeded but again that was in a court martial context a significant portion of which was conducted in secret and which the public had no access to colonel dave so we've had a series of kind of bombshell civilian court cases recently that have shown that it's very hard to prove guilt george zimmerman coming to mind here in this case this was a military court how does that change the burden of proof how does it make the defense's job a lot more difficult i don't know that it doesn't change at all the standard is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and i think a lot of the attorneys that have been involved with the guantanamo. cases will tell you that they gained a lot of respect for the military justice system as a result of that but you know the system is has gotten a black eye because of our mishandling of the sexual assault cases and says by happenstance you had the man in case today you've got hassan major hasan at fort
hood you have sergeant bales' fort lewis and you've got to leave it in court one tonic so there's no real spotlight on the military justice system right now and i think today was a positive step that hopefully can help redeemed some of the luster that the system that you mentioned that there might be some appeal opportunities very important the other option for manning is to get a presidential pardon from president obama would speaking worked about it is that is that is that just i think it will be a cold day in hell for that to have and i mean obama just finished prosecuting a every oh he was the one who approved we have proved and same with all the other espionage act prosecutions of whistleblowers so i don't think he would suddenly have an epiphany or a moment of truth that this is not a wise path in the democratic society that's supposed to be transparent it's important for many who did try to reach out to the new york times with this information other news outlets have the new york times been on this in taken some
of this information would we be here talking about about this trial would manning a face these sort of consequences were i mean what does that say about journalism in general the whole wiki leaks angle enjoying the sunshine things i think if he i think the new york times that sounds like they blew him off i mean he did reach out to the new york times and no one responded given the new york times coverage of this trial is spent abysmal they haven't shown up during much of it in terms of whether they would cover it i don't know i don't know if they would have covered his disclosures i'm not sure what they would have done with that but in general there is a war on whistleblowers and a war on journalism and in general a crackdown on information if it happens to embarrass the government or even worse expose its crime sure colonel morris davis professor of law at howard university just lynn radek national security human rights director at the government accountability project thank you both sam. now moving on to the n.s.a. it's been roughly two and a half months since the edward snowden leaks were exposed to the world and the
national security agency's mass surveillance operations unveiled and yet to this day the n.s.a. still is unsure of the extent of these leaks unnamed sources within the intelligence community told n.b.c. news that the n.s.a. is quote overwhelmed trying to figure out exactly what edward snowden took and i say chief keith alexander was asked back in july about just how much the agency knows regarding the extent of the leaks. let me ask you about edward snowden i realize you can't tell us what he got but do you feel now that you know what he got yes now this latest report contradicts that claim and it's a spokesperson said that alexander answered the question quote in a more general sense meanwhile more news is breaking about the scope of the n.s.a. surveillance of the internet particularly u.s. networks more unnamed government and intelligence officials told the wall street
journal that the n.s.a. has the ability to monitor seventy five percent of all the domestic internet traffic here in the united states now it does this through a series of relationships with internet providers that at the request of the n.s.a. hand over various streams of traffic to be further reviewed using complex and essay algorithms now how these requests are handled differs between each internet provider with some internet providers employing their own legal team to determine which data should be handed over to the n.s.a. and which data shouldn't and often the way these requests are handled has quote caused friction between internet providers and the n.s.a. and definitions of what exactly is a foreign communication to be handed over to the n.s.a. is still being worked out but as officials say americans e-mail content and metadata it is inevitable of being swept up into the n.s.a.'s vast databases in
fact in one instance documented by the wall street journal's report all e-mail and text communications around the area of salt lake city utah were monitored by the n.s.a. and the f.b.i. for a period of six months ahead of the two thousand and two winter olympics and just this afternoon the a.p. reports based on newly declassified documents that the n.s.a. collected as many as fifty six thousand e-mails every single year. for three years belonging to americans with no connection to terrorism before the top secret pfizer court stepped in and ordered the n.s.a. to change its collection methods so that's that now for more on this topic i was joined earlier by say on a cardio a senior attorney at the center for constitutional rights in new york and brian do get technologist at the open technology institute here in d.c. and i started by asking brian about the government's claim that it isn't fully
aware of the extent of edward snowden's leaks it's incredibly disturbing that the that they actually don't know what was taken that know right that no audit trail was was created. the that's the type of abrogation of trust that the united states government needs to restore and that is why the president the united states needs to him in state and independent x. sternal council of experts to review the n.s.a. . movie the n.s.a. spying but all these systems that edward snowden was using they by default should be creating audit trails of every single action of every single administrator on the machine edward snowden was not the top level administrator of this machine he just happened to have access across domains at a top secret security level there is no excuse for any administrator to not keep
logs of that type of information and it is a entirely entirely disturbing and untrustworthy of the n.s.a. to not keep track of that type of information right i guess you could say by way or they're either being a little less than truthful as we've seen or that's just gross incompetence that they can't seem to track what's going on on their network say on a given the way that both the u.s. and u.k. governments have reacted to these leaks most recently detaining. greenwald's partner david miranda in the u.k. doesn't that show that it likely doesn't know the extent. well you know only if you believe that david brand it was actually carrying some of the documents it seems very implausible to me that it would have sent any twenty nine year old who didn't speak very much english and wasn't a lawyer with a whole trove of valuable kind of you know classified documents or draft copies of stories or things like that i think this was clearly an attempt to just intimidate greenwald and any other journalist like him who is thinking about reporting on on
stories that involve classified information that the government doesn't want out there you know cardinal richelieu i think said that a man with a family can be made to do anything and this is probably about the most intimidating thing you could do to a journalist to the us it has the ability to collect seventy five percent of internet officials say it's inevitable that americans communications are getting swept up into these databases at what point does the administration just have to flat out concede that yes it is indeed collecting mass quantities of. in that it indeed has a defacto domestic spying operation right you know that's something they'll never concede because you know a lot of people in the media believe that the american public's very blahs a about surveillance it's true that all the polling data for the last seven years shows that the american public doesn't care if the surveillance seems like it's targeted at terrorists and if it seems like it's targeted at foreigners and but they do care greatly even if they think it's a very thin surveillance it's directed at every american or ordinary americans
right and so you see all the administration's talking points are aimed at saying we're not actually listening to domestic content we're only gathering your phone numbers right or we're targeting terrorists or we're only targeting foreigners and the interesting thing about the last two weeks of stories is it shows that the n.s.a. is actually not particularly good at limiting itself to targeting foreigners if that's even what they're trying to do right there was just half an hour ago three opinions declassified from the fisa court the secret court that monitors some of this surveillance where they said and i'll quote they were repeated inaccurate statements about the targeting and use criteria and that these were inconsistent with the spirit of the statute that the n.s.a.'s actions were right so i think you know it shows that when the courts get information from the n.s.a. that's accurate they can actually serve as a real check but that the n.s.a. is not doing a very good job of limiting itself to surveillance of foreigners brian what are we supposed to make of this claim that seventy five percent of the internet is being monitored why not one hundred percent given the n.s.a. zele where were where's that twenty five percent coming from it's in the rest of the world and it's and i as for whatever reason the n.s.a.
has not managed to touch it or it's in service providers that encrypt traffic between of themselves and the user that the n.s.a. has also not managed to tap i think that raises an interesting question is that if the n.s.a. is relying so heavily on these internet providers to hand over the first stream of data that they ask for could that be a potential pressure point for people who are outraged about this to target these internet provider in companies in syria look we're not going to do business with you. i mean i guess we've seen organizations like lava bit choose to shut down rather than hand over the sort of information could that be where efforts against the n.s.a. should be focused that's that's one area the the and there are efforts that are attempting to provide alternatives to massive to the worldwide internet if you check out a site called prism break dot org that's prism dash break dot org you'll find a host of applications tools that users can use to try to protect themselves
against n.s.a. surveillance one of those is a class of technology called mess technology mesh wireless technology that is the technology allows communities people people to generate their own networks that are entirely separate from the internet but at the end of the day you have to trust someone and we should demand trust from the from the organizations that we need to communicate interesting that was shown at cardiology senior attorney at center for constitutional rights in brian doogan technologist at open technology institute now on to egypt where fallout from the military government's violent crackdown on morsi supporters is rippling across the european union crackdown has claimed the lives of more than nine hundred people in the last week as a result today e.u. member states agreed to suspend exporting any licenses for weapons that could be used against the egyptian people the e.u. did promise however to continue humanitarian aid to the country citing the need to quote support vulnerable people in egypt meanwhile the release of former egyptian president hosni mubarak could be imminent as in egypt in court ruled today that the
prosecution has exhausted its appeal to keep mubarak behind bars there are reports he may be released to house arrest as early as thursday as for the other former egyptian president mohamed morsi he remains under house arrest and was recently joined by the most senior leader of the muslim brotherhood mohamed badie a who was arrested in cairo this week now here to explain exactly what's happening in egypt i'm joined by political analysts. mad fati welcome to the show thing so the release of mubarak could come as soon as tomorrow what my what impact might that have on a country that's already in turmoil let me first explain one thing mubarak was not acquitted from any of the cases he had four cases he's being tried on he's just the temporarily. incarceration of him according to the egyptian low have expired he's been now for two years he cannot hold him on legal grounds for longer than that
haven't they been able to start a trial or bring bring in sure there is four cases he's been tried on the first one is the killing of the demonstrators back in january twentieth levon and he have been sentenced to twenty five years but then when he took it to the appeals court the appeals court voided the sentencing and then he's now under retry it the other three cases involve mis uses a fund and corruption and some of these cases they can settle and paid the funds in question and then it can be the charges can be dropped but the major case was the killing of the demonstrators and this still still on my latest update i'm so my latest update is that the prime minister of egypt dr beblawi has a big blow he has he has issued a decision to keep former president hosni mubarak under house arrest ok so
he's not exactly going to be released tomorrow he'd be released to house arrest and it would that be temporary why they while they settle this appeals process yes ok assuming that this appeals process isn't isn't settled what influence does the old mubarak regime still have in egypt and if he were to be released what impact might that have on civilian elections if we get to that point as the military government. promise. first. sure the mubarak establishment is still there or what is referred to as the deep state still in place still active still influential to do things it's not yet been cleansed it will take few years even with the next president the impact on the election it's too early to say what will happen there is still a debate on whether to allow elections for the parliament to be individually
undertaken that each candidate would run independently or try to end european format as each party would submit a list to and together with their programs for the electoral to choose which program the would like to take we have tried the list. system before how to do it really yield much result because we have to understand that the muslim brotherhood have a thirty percent guaranteed votes so the muslim brotherhood would be part of any future government that will be coming as a result of of an election process the the military was instrumental in mubarak's ouster. but really what is the relationship between the military and the deep state as you called it this old regime. the military is mubarak
was part of the egyptian armed forces he was air force commander he gone through a few wars. one of them the latest nine hundred seventy three as the commander of the air force. mobarak was ousted mazed on the popular demand supported by the military i mean i just i mean is it possible that once the muslim brotherhood is out of the picture that the military could come back and try and support old regime forces moving forward that's the that's the million dollar question and that will determine whether we're going to go into a civil war past or we'll go into a establishing a democratic transition process so what do you think. it will all depend on the actions that the military would would they and which group is going to support if these three neutral then we have a chance at michigan democrat in just the last thirty seconds what you make of how the u.s. has reacted to this what sort of pressures are in d.c.
that are kind of tugging on the u.s. government and how they react to u.s. government the senators in on capitol hill the threatening to suspend military aid to egypt one point three billion and i'm telling you it's not going to happen it's not going to happen it's going to happen there is lots of repercussions if the suspend the one point three million billion dollars in military aid that will give the egyptian military a cause to suspend some of the articles in the peace treaty signed in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine at the white house and we can increase the number of their forces in the increased number of their forces in the sinai israelis are going to do the same and then they're going to come back to the u.s. government to pay the bill for the economic hardship going to look like it's what do ration here political analysts off mad fati thank you so much ink using yesterday al-jazeera america launched in the united states and already it's facing obstacles from television providers just one hour before al jazeera america went on
air it was dropped by eighteen t. u. verse which has five million t.v. viewers according to a statement given by eight hundred spokesman mark siegel to the wrap quote we drop the current t.v. channel and will not carry al-jazeera america on u. verse due to contract disputes we cannot reach an agreement with the owner that we believe provided value for our customers and our business which is air america faced a similar set back when it was dropped by time warner cable after acquiring current t.v. earlier this year roughly forty eight million households in the united states can tune in to al-jazeera america but major networks like c.n.n. m.s.n. b.c. and fox reach more than one hundred million households. and that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash r.t. america and check out our website r.t.e. dot com slash usa and you can follow me on twitter at sam sachs we'll see you back here at eight pm.